Restoration efforts given a trial run at Lindisfarne Castle

Remedial building works taking place at Lindisfarne Castle over the winter are making good progress.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 06 February, 2016, 11:00
Window repointing at Lindisfarne Castle

A series of trials are being carried out to look at ways of solving severe problems caused by the castle’s exposure to wet and windy weather.

Experts in stone and plaster, environmental deterioration, historic windows and historic engineering, along with conservation architects and archaeologists have been involved.

It is planned to implement the successful trials into a £1.2million restoration project scheduled for 2017.

Nick Lewis, house steward, said: “The two main trial walls have had their cement pointing hacked out, new lime pointing packed in and breathable render applied to give a protective cover. Internally, old rust iron lintels have been removed from above three windows and new galvanised steel beams have been installed.”

Lintels in the West Bedroom have also been removed.

“They were three metres long and extraordinarily heavy,” said Nick. “So much so it took six men to lift each on out.”

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The other internal job is chipping off a cement render that had been applied to the walls of the West Bedroom and Upper Gallery, presumably as a water-proofing measure.

“The cement is quite thinly applied to the stone and so is both a tough and delicate chisel job,” said Nick.

A major part of the trials is the testing of different window designs and the first of two trials began a few days ago. Three windows have been attended to, with a further three being replaced in late February.

“One of the biggest issues with the windows is how they are fixed into their recesses,” said Nick. “The internal edge of the window rests against the stone, but the front is simply pointed in. When the pointing fails, the window fails.

“The first potential solution is a brass frame which is fixed to the stone on the external edge of the window, which then fixes against the brass.”